Management to discuss report on suspended lecturer this month
Management of the University of Guyana (UG), later this month, is set to discuss a report which a special body has prepared involving a lecturer who was suspended last year following allegations of misconduct.
Yesterday, UG Registrar, Vincent Alexander, confirmed that the matter is on the agenda for the UG Council some time this month.
The report of the Special Committee was handed in to the Council earlier this year after the body started work in the last quarter of 2009 following complaints by several students that the lecturer, Evan Persaud, was engaging in behaviour unsuitable to the policies of the campus.
Yesterday, a senior UG official, who asked not to be named, said that the process to investigate Persaud was taking too long and that there should be some early decision which will either vindicate him or have him face some other disciplinary action.
“The report, from all indications, found that there was not enough evidence of wrongdoing on Persaud’s part,” the UG official also said yesterday.
Contacted also, Pro-Chancellor, Prem Misir, would only say that the report was completed in March and submitted since then to the UG management. “While it would have been appropriate to expedite the decision of this Special Committee’s report, the UG Council has not met since March and therefore the due process has been delayed.”
However, Alexander would not comment on the report.
Sitting on the Special Committee were Megayla Austin, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sean Richmond of the Guyana Revenue Authority; Dr. Thomas Singh of UG; Dr. Kissoon of GuySuCo; and Barbara Thomas-Holder also of UG.
Persaud, a Faculty of Technology lecturer for over 12 years, faced a Panel of Inquiry last year, after complaints were launched over his teaching style.
One of his students reported to the Turkeyen Police Station that Persaud, while at UG, threatened to shoot him.
The student also gave a statement submitted.
Persaud has not been allowed to lecture since UG re-opened in September.
Dean of the Faculty, Sherwood Lowe, had assumed his classes in the interim, reports said.
Following several verbal reports and letters by students earlier in 2009, UG Registrar, Vincent Alexander, had appointed a two-member Panel of Inquiry who after investigations, prepared a report that alleged Persaud victimised and threatened students and even held an exam off-campus.
Nearly two dozen students, the lecturer and Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Sherwood Lowe, were interviewed before the report was prepared and handed to the UG Council where the decision to terminate him was made.
According to the report, the panel listened to a CD recording of the lecturer during one of his classes in which he was heard cursing and planning to victimise a student who had reported his behaviour to the UG management.
The panel found Persaud guilty of grave misconduct for using profanity in the classroom and in addition, of violating the rights of students by writing directly to Prometheus Resources, a company which sponsors a few students, to terminate their scholarships.
These students were said to be the same ones who reported his misconduct to UG administration, the report says. UG administrators are saying that Persaud bypassed procedures by writing directly to the company.
It was also found that the lecturer acted “in a matter which can be considered inimical to the university’ by holding final exams off campus, “which would affect the quality of the degree offered by the university.”
In its recommendations, the panel called for the termination of Persaud’s contract of employment because he had violated the University Statutes and Code of Conduct for Staff which urges staffers to be aware of their responsibilities and discharge them efficiently and conscientiously.
Eighteen students disclosed that they had done at least one exam at the Russian Embassy, Kitty. However, three students of the 21 said they took part in that and exams were held on campus.
The 18 students said that they had done “fake” final exams on campus but were told by the same three students who had denied writing the exams off-campus that they would meet at another location to “make modifications to their examinations papers.”
According to the report, students said that for this off-campus test, they were given examination questions in advance.
However, the report of Panel of Inquiry was not received lightly and after Persaud appealed the report’s findings and recommendations, the Special Committee was appointed.